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Now Is the Time For AEW To Put the TNT Title On Wardlow

June 13, 2022 | Posted by Kelly Sullivan
AEW Dynamite Wardlow Wardlow's Image Credit: AEW

The TNT Title has a very interesting history during its short existence in All Elite Wrestling.

After winning a tournament that contained an intriguing mix of young talent and established stars, Cody Rhodes was crowned the inaugural TNT Champion in May of 2020.

The TNT Title instantly gained a certain level of prestige while in the possession of Cody. He was an established superstar and at the time, one of the most popular performers in AEW. Cody would go on to elevate the title even further by defending it every week on Dynamite against some young up-and-comers on the AEW roster, but also against some of the best wrestlers that the independent scene had to offer, such as Ricky Starks and Eddie Kingston.

Even after Cody went on to lose the TNT Title, it would maintain a high level of importance as Mr. Brodie Lee, Darby Allin, and Miro all did fantastic jobs of defending it on a regular basis and featured it prominently in great matches and/or interesting programs.

But ever since Miro dropped it to Sammy Guevara, the TNT Title has seen a slow and steady decline in relevance, reaching an all-time low in the never-ending program between the Men of the Year, Dan Lambert, Sammy Guevara, Tay Conti, and eventually, Frankie Kazarian.

This storyline was, by and large, considered the worst storyline in the short history of AEW.

When the program between Guevara and Scorpio Sky began, it had the potential to be very good. But a major misstep along the way buried the program so deep that there was nothing anyone could do to save it.

AEW took a popular young star in Guevara and coupled him up with his real-life girlfriend in Conti. This not only stalled any momentum Guevara had gained, but it also turned the crowd against Guevara completely as he and Conti quickly became insufferable together on screen.

This put the AEW crowd in a spot where they had to choose between cheering for a Dan Lambert-led team of established heels or the couple that is determined to break every unwritten PDA (public display of affection) rule in existence.

Just when it looked like the AEW crowd had chosen a side as Sky had begun to display traits of a babyface again, AEW reestablished Sky as a heel and the viewing audience had seen enough of the program and was growing increasingly desperate for it to end.

While terrible programs are part of wrestling, what made this even worse is that the TNT Title was held hostage during it all. With all the talent on the AEW roster, there was no reason to hold up one of the two men’s singles titles with this awful story.

After Sky, Ethan Page, and Paige VanZant won a mixed tag match against Guevara, Conti, and Kazarian at Double or Nothing a few weeks ago, AEW fans could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel as it meant that Guevara (and Kazarian) could not challenge Sky again for the TNT Title.

Then last Wednesday on Dynamite, the light at the end of the tunnel became a full-blown spotlight when Wardlow made his intentions known that he was going after the TNT Title. And with that announcement, the TNT Title suddenly had a shot to become relevant again.

Wardlow is the perfect choice to restore the TNT Title’s former glory

When considering the ways that AEW could elevate the TNT Title back to where it once was, the recipe is pretty simple.

First, put the title on a wrestler that will elicit a strong reaction from fans that can perform both in the ring and on the microphone. Next, book that wrestler carefully moving forward, ensuring he is only involved in matches/programs that are exciting for AEW fans. Finally, have him defend the title regularly against a number of high-caliber opponents to put a big match feel on every TNT Title defense.

While there are a number of competitors on the AEW roster that have the capability of restoring the TNT Title’s prestige, no one will be able to do so as quickly as Wardlow.

Wardlow is currently at his peak level of popularity, thanks in part to Wardlow, and thanks in part to the brilliance of MJF, who plays his role so well that just being in a feud with him instantly ups your popularity. Wardlow used that, coupled with his natural ability and charisma, to make the most of the story of his emancipation from the employment of MJF to climb the ranks of popularity within AEW.

It should be very apparent to everyone within AEW that they have a star on their hands in Wardlow. Because of this, AEW should be extremely careful with his booking moving forward. Step one of this needs to be to dethrone Scorpio Sky.

Sky deserves better than this, but the fact remains that he and Ethan Page are still paired up with Lambert, and many people are tired of Lambert. So the old “strike while the iron is hot” adage comes into play here as AEW has a golden opportunity to enhance Wardlow’s popularity even more by winning the TNT Title.

This will also give Wardlow some time to continue improving both in the ring and on the microphone as he continues to work his way up to the very top of the AEW card. The AEW roster is very deep, and this works out well for Wardlow. The big man will be able to continue to improve as he takes on all different styles of opponents, from Powerhouse Hobbs to Rey Fenix to Kyle O’Reilly and everyone in between.

The time is right for a TNT Title change.

And putting it on Wardlow now is the right decision because as his stock continues to rise to new levels, so too will the prestige of the TNT Title.

article topics :

AEW, Wardlow, Kelly Sullivan